The plank or elbow hold is a fantastic core exercise. It is considered a bilateral, isometric stabilizing exercise as it uses both sides of the body at the same time (bilateral) and the muscle neither lengthens nor shortens (isometric.) Ensure you maintain your pelvic tilt so you do not raise your buttocks into the air and create a “jackknife” position.
The key to having the plank work the appropriate muscles to their maximal efficiency is dependent on shoulder to elbow positioning. When you are in the position, ensure your shoulders are rocked towards your feet so they are positioned just behind the elbow (as opposed to directly underneath.) This disperses the weight from the shoulder muscles and redirects it towards the latissimus, abdominals, and deep muscles of the lower back.
This is an exercise geared towards increasing the endurance of the muscle so it should be performed until failure- that is until you can no longer hold the correct technique. Rest 10 seconds and repeat up to 5 times.
If you currently have low back pain or experience it when performing this exercise, please discontinue the exercise and consult your health care practitioner. Vitality Clinic and Dr. Serné assume no responsibility.
Have a great day,
Dr. Crysta Serné
Vancouver Chiropractor and owner of Vitality Clinic